Grip, don't rip

There are many iconic elements to Crossfit that everyone at some point will experience. Famous benchmark workouts or the buzz of the open, the adrenaline rush of a PB and the almighty crash during an intense workout. All of these just add to the beauty of the Crossfit experience but nothing really prepares you for the first time and every subsequent time you tear or rip your hands. All of the best games athletes showcase products and supplements they use and this creates buzz around the newest training shoe or protein brand but very little information is broadcast surrounding hand care. This is most likely down to the fact it’s not the most exciting subject to talk about but it’s definitely important in our sport.  

During my first Crossfit competition I experienced my first and worst rips ever. The day had been filled with barbell work and gymnastic movements on the rig and the final was no exception. I could feel that my hands weren’t in great shape but didn’t expect what happened next. As you can see from the picture my hands were a mess. Pepperoni sized pieces missing from my hands. Not fun at all! The huge pizza was good but certainly didn’t help with the pain I had to deal with until my hands recovered.

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From that point, I’ve been incredibly careful with how I manage calluses and dry or overworked parts of my hands. Time spent out of training due to rips or tears is frustrating and can be easily avoided or at least minimised. Here are the steps I took:

  • The first thing I put into action was a balm specially designed to help soothe and repair ripped hands which definitely helped but prevention is the key. 
  • My second and most important addition to the hand care kit was a callus blade. These can take a bit of getting used to and definitely warrant respect whilst using but it really helps to keep excess hard skin from building up around heavy areas of grip pressure. 
  • The third and final piece was a pumice stone. Now I know what you’re thinking and I thought the same thing, that’s what my granny uses on her feet... Trust me it works and I use it almost every day.